Cameras on the cards for A-Bay

Surveillance cameras are on the cards for the Sunshine Coast’s unofficial nudist beach as part of a planned roll-out at “black spots” along the Queensland coast.

“A-Bay” is firmly in the sights of Surf Life Saving Queensland as one of two beaches in the state requiring the most immediate attention of cameras currently being trialled on the Gold Coast.

Three people have lost their lives at Alexandria Bay at Noosa since 2003, including 14-year-old Luke Mikkelson.

SLSQ Sunshine Coast Life Saving Services coordinator Aaron Purchase said ongoing budget restrictions meant a permanent patrol on the treacherous beach was not an option.

The installation of surveillance cameras would be monitored at a Sunshine Coast communications tower.

Operators could talk to beachgoers they saw as potential victims through the cameras’ speakers.

Mr Purchase said the intention was not to intrude on people’s privacy but to save lives.

The Sunshine Coast and Green Island have been identified as Queensland black spots and marked as top priority by SLFQ once the Gold Coast trial winds up in about six months.

Surf Life Saving Queensland does not need public approval to install the cameras.

“We would liaise with the public, and locals have a pretty good relationship with the local surf club,” Mr Purchase said.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said SLSQ did not need its permission to install cameras.

Naturist group Freebeach Australia spokesman Mark Hayter said up to 300 people visited A-Bay on weekends, mostly for its unofficial status as a nudist beach.

Mr Hayter said many visitors would share his view that the primary factor was saving lives.

However, he stressed there must be strict security over who had access to the footage.

“It is the only (nudist) beach that is recognised and accepted by police and other beachgoers,” he said. “Anywhere else you can get arrested.”

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